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NDB Jaffnaspire 2015 to energize Jaffna renaissance

Apr 20 (CT) NDB will be conducting a five-day series of activities in the Jaffna Peninsula, in a bid to inspire and empower the people of the region towards sustainable financial progress; by introducing them to the bank's unique financial solutions and advisory services. The mega town-storming initiative titled NDB Jaffnaspire 2015 will kick start on Wednesday (22) and through the week until Saturday (25). The programme line-up will place key focus on community development more..

Aitken Spence Travels surpasses handling 100,000 visitors to Sri Lanka

Apr 20 (FT) Aitken Spence Travels, Sri Lanka’s leading Destination Management Company has surpassed the 100,000 milestone of handling visitors to Sri Lanka for the financial year of 2014/2015. This is a significant milestone in the company’s 38-year history. “We have continued to grow our business year on year and we are delighted with our results,” noted Aitken Spence Travels Managing Director Nalin Jayasundera. “We have shown significant capacity to adjust to the changing more..

Ceylon Chamber calls on all MPs to enact constitutional amendments

Apr 20 (FT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, in a statement yesterday, said it welcomed the recent constitutional reforms process initiated under the leadership of the President and the Govt. It has also welcomed the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution, particularly those provisions addressing the 18th Amendment, the Constitutional Council, independent commissions, urgent Bills and the Right to Information. more..

National Chamber trade session with Canadian High Commissioner

Apr 20 (Island) The National Chamber of Commerce is holding a bilateral trade session with the High Commissioner of Canada, Shelley Whiting on Tuesday 28 April 2015 from 3.00 to 4.30 p.m at the National Chamber Auditorium No 450 D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, Colombo-10. At this session the participants will get an opportunity to interact with the High Commissioner of Canada and officials of the High Commission to discuss any issues with regard to trade with Canada. more..

Expo 2015 in Milan attracts 200 Sri Lankan companies

Apr 20 (CT) Expo 2015 has attracted around 200 key private sector entities for the Sri Lankan pavilion when it launches on May 1 in Milan, Italy, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau Chairman Rohantha Athukorala, addressing tourism sector participants at the SLTPB premises last week. Over 20 million visitors from 140 countries with delegations and exhibitions are expected to attend Expo 2015. Of the 200 interested parties, a few sought to continue their presence in the pavilion for the expo's more..

Sanga debuts for Surrey with hundred

Apr 20 (AFP) Kumar Sangakkara ensured the crowd at Cardiff's Sophia Gardens on Sunday witnessed a hundred from a world-class batsman as Surrey team-mate Kevin Pietersen missed out on the first day against Glamorgan. Pietersen, biding for an England recall after being axed last year following the team's 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, fell for 19 in his first County Championship match since June 2013 more..

A and K is coming to town

Apr 20 (Island) Annasi and Kadalagotu, the tri-lingual Lit Festival will be born on 25th April precisely at 1015 at the Aesthetic Centre 275/74, Prof Stanley Wijesundera Mawatha, Col 7. This is a common man/woman event, simply literature, simply local. A ticket for the entire day is a reasonable and affordable 100 rupees and will cover all events. One could amble from hall to hall to hear them speak of books and poems and ‘how and why’ they are written, in English, Sinhala and Tamil. more..

Rail gate keeper jumps before moving train

Apr 20 (Island) A rail gate keeper ended his life by jumping before the Ruhunu Kumari express train on Friday. The deceased was Bulathsinhalage Ranjan Cooray of Kamburugamuwa. The inquest was held by the acting inquirer into sudden deaths, Matara, Upasena Thenabadu. It was revealed at the inquest that the victim was addicted to liqour and he had repeatedly said that he would take his life. Matara police are conducting further investigations. more..

Artistes bat for 19A

Apr 20 (Island) Purawesi Balaya (People’s Power) which backed Maithripala Sirisena’s candidature at the Jan.8 presidential election yesterday vowed to go all-out against members of parliament voting against the proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The warning was given at a media briefing held at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), at Deans Road, Maradana. Saman Ratnapriya said that more..

CA acquits and discharges IP convicted of theft

Apr 20 (Island) The Appeals Court has acquitted and discharged police Inspector Sunil Suraweera, who was earlier convicted by the Anuradhapura High Court and sentenced to ten years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs. 1,000 on a charge of stealing a T-56 assault rifle and 120 bullets. Inspector Suraweera formerly attached to the Anuradhapura police station filed an appeal against his conviction by the High Court in 2004. The appeal was heard before Appeal Court more..

New Year festival involving elephants, no threat to safety of animal - Kabir

Apr 20 (DN) Minister Kabir Hashim said the Sinhala- Tamil New Year festival involving elephants did not pose any threat to the safety of the animals. "The owners of the elephants were present during the entire event and all precautions were taken to ensure the safety of these majestic animals," he said in a message that was posted on his official Facebook page. "The animals are considered a symbol of Sri Lanka and were brought to partake in the celebrations of the New Year. more..

Video: Give priority to 19A: SobithaThera tells MPs

Apr 20 (DM) It is ideal if we can simultaneously abolish the executive presidency and adopt a new electoral system but at the moment we should prioritise the enactment of 19th Amendment, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera said. He told a joint media conference all so attended by the People’s Movement for Noble Governance, an organization led by some members of the Catholic clergy that it would more..

Lanka bound 600 kg of sea cucumber seized in TN

Apr 20 (PTI) A large quantity of sea cucumber, an endangered species under the Wildlife Protection Act, has been seized from a fishing hamlet near here and one person arrested on the charge of stocking it with a plan to smuggle it to Sri Lanka. Coastal Security Group (CSG) police personnel recovered 600 kg of fully processed sea cucumber, worth Rs 12 lakh in the illegal market, from the house of one Murugan in Keechankuppam and arrested him last night, police said today. more..

Former Secretary, President bring misery to SLC

Apr 20 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is set to face lot of problems after the International Cricket Council’s decision to hold back the money that was due for the board from the governing body. SLC was set to receive a sum of US$ 12 million from the ICC, but last week following a Board Meeting, the ICC announced that it was holding back the money until an investigation is done on govt interference in postponing the board elections. Inside sources said that board could feel the pinch and struggle more..

'Bond inquiry report would be tabled in parliament'

Apr 20 (EN) An inquiry report into a controversial 30-year bond auction would be tabled in parliament as promised by the administration, Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. "The report will be tabled in parliament early this week," de Silva said. PM had promised parliament that the inquiry report would be tabled and members could then accept report or ask for another investigation or action against those responsible. more..

Lovers in fatal jump at Diyaluma Falls

Apr 20 (DM) An 18-year-old girl and her boy friend had reportedly jumped off from the Diyaluma Waterfall in Koslanda this afternoon in a suicide attempt and the body of the girl was found a short while ago, police said. They said the couple has made a call to a friend and had said that they were going to jump off the waterfall because their families were not supportive of their relationship. The Koslanda Police are continuing to recover the body of the man. more..

Inquiry on Rupavahini

Apr 20 (CT) An investigation will be conducted on why ceremonial hisa thel gema (anointing oil) event the President took part was not properly telecast on Sri Lanka Rupavahini, Secretary to the Information and Media Ministry said. Only a half of the event of President's hisa thel gaema was telecasted. The auspicious time was 9.06 and an advertisement telecast just before the auspicious time hence nearly 23 seconds of the auspicious time was elapsed when advertisement ended. more..

Mahinda and Gota summoned by Bribery Commission

Apr 20 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa have been asked to report to the Bribery Commission (BC) this week to record statements over various allegations against them, sources said. They said Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was asked to report to the BC on April 22 and 23 while the former President was asked to report to BC on Friday, April 24. more..

President issues directive reinstating RDA, BOI workers

Apr 20 (DN) Employees who lost their jobs at the Road Development Authority (RDA) and Board of Investment (BoI) will be reinstated from today on a directive by President Maithripala Sirisena. The workers who had lost their employment met the President on April 17 and having listened to their pleas, the President issued a directive to the authorities to reinstate them. The President while issuing the directive to the authorities requested all workers to report for work today. more..

TNA denies links with LTTE

Apr 20 (IANS) SL's main Tamil majority political party on Sunday dismissed allegations that it had worked with the Tamil Tiger rebels. TNA had been accused of spreading the ideology of the LTTE, who fought a 30-year civil war in the country before their defeat in May 2009. "We do not have any allegiance to the LTTE nor are we committed to their ideology. We stand up for the rights of the Tamil people but we are not in favour of terrorism nor do we encourage it and everyone knows this," more..

19 A: Debate deferred

Apr 20 (Island) President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Opposition political parties led by the SLFP yesterday agreed to defer the debate on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution by a day to enable them to reach an agreement on both constitutional and electoral reforms, political sources told The Island. The decision was taken at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat in the morning. more..

Lead the way for 19A

Apr 20 (DM) This week, significantly placed between the National New Year and the thrice-blessed day of Vesak, may turn out to be a vital week in Sri Lanka’s history. We join the people of Sri Lanka in hoping for and urging political leaders and lawmakers to rise to the occasion, to rise beyond desires for personal gain or party interest and raise the hands or vote for the common good of all the people of our country. Coming up for debate and probably a vote in Parliament this week will be the crucial more..

Jaathika Anduwa: Some reflective thoughts

Apr 20 (DM) One of the most interesting themes to have emerged in the present political debate in Sri Lanka is the idea of Jaathika Anduwa, or National Govt. The concept of National Govt is not a new one. The credit for its retrieval in the current political context of Sri Lanka goes to PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. However, the way the National Govt is being conceptualised and explained raises some fundamental questions about its possible political consequences for democratic more..

Koslanda still weeps

Apr 20 (SL) Six months since the Meeryabedde Koslanda disaster where a monstrous landslide claimed the lives of over one hundred people when they were buried alive and thousands of estate workers were left homeless, some of them are still living in temporary shelters. For many of them who lost everything they ever possessed and were left only with the clothes they were wearing, the dilemma still continues with no hope in sight. more..

'Mathews can overtake Tendulkar'

Apr 20 (CC) Sri Lanka cricket teams outgoing manager has made the bold statement that the current captain of the national team — Angelo Mathews — can surpass Sachin Tendulkar in number of Test centuries in his career, going by the fine form Mathews has struck over the recent couple of years. “From the time he (Angelo Mathews) captained in the Bangladesh series through to the end of the 2015 World Cup, it was marvellous more..

CAA tips the scales in consumers’ favour from May 1

Apr 20 (ST) The public will be able to weigh bread or other goods prior to purchasing them at supermarkets, bakeries and grocery stores and, if items are underweight, they can return or exchange, the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) said. CAA has issued a gazette directing all traders to install a weighing scale verified for its accuracy by Department of Measurement Units Standards & Services, with effect from May 1, more..

Sri Lanka will not be a transshipment location for transnational drug trafficking

Apr 20 (GDI) Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, PC, Minister of Justice representing Sri Lanka attended the High Level Event on Countering Narcotics Trafficking on the High Seas in the Indian Ocean under the Global Maritime Crime Programme Event and delivered a key note address while Yuri Fedotov, Executive Director of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes chaired the conference. Rajapakshe addressed on the subject of more..

CPM urges Sri Lanka to hold credible enquiry

Apr 20 (ENS) The 21st Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday noted that six years after the end of the civil war, the problems of SL Tamils have not been resolved in any meaningful manner and called for the withdrawal of wartime deployment armed forces from Tamil provinces. “SL govt should conduct a credible enquiry into the human rights violations in the final stages of the armed conflict in May 2009. more..

UPFA MPs concerned over probe

Apr 20 (CG) Opposition UPFA MPs today raised concerns over attempts to investigate them and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as well as former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on corruption charges. NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa said that Rajapaksa, who defeated the LTTE, is now being targeted over false allegations. “He is being hunted. This is not implementing the law,” the former Minister said. more..

BC DG summoned to House

Apr 20 (DM) The Director General (DG) of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption Ms. Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe has been asked to be present at the Parliament by the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa a short while ago. The DG was summoned in the wake of protests displayed by about 60 members of the opposition in Parliament today. Opposition members protested over more..

Court order to check Senarath’s accounts

Apr 20 (DM) Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) today obtained a court order to examine the accounts of former presidential chief-of-staff Gamini Sedara Senarath, his close relatives and their business establishments in more than 80 banks and financial institutions. Nishantha Warnasinghe of the Anti-Corruption Movement in his police complaint said Mr. Senarath had used institutions such as more..

MR unlikely to report to the BC

Apr 20 (DM) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa is unlikely to report to the Bribery Commission (BC) though it had summoned him to do so on April 24, his spokesman Rohan Weliwita said today. However, he said Mr. Rajapaksa was awaiting a proper response from the Bribery Commission because he is unaware as to why he had been summoned and the name or names of those who filed the complaint against him. more..

Update: MPs want written assurance

Apr 20 (DM) UPFA MP T.B. Ekanayake who is one of the MPs carrying out the protest said it would not be called off until President Maithripala Sirisena assured them in writing of former president Rajapaksa’s safety and security. Protesting MPs handed over a petition signed by them to Minister John Amaratunga urging a written assurance from the President. “We are awaiting the minister’s response,” Mr. Ekanayake said. more..

Sri Lankan stocks end weaker

Apr 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed down, 0.09% mainly due to the prevailing political uncertainty in the Island driving investors away, brokers said. Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 06.03 points lower at 7,080.38 down 0.09%. The S&P SL20 closed 08.04 points higher at 4,020.60 up 0.20%. “The unsettling activities in parliament and the current insecure political situation in the country is having an impact on the market and today’s trading activities,” more..

The comedy of current politics

Apr 20 (CT) Political parties representing the majority community uses the political platform all the time to talk about the rights of the majority and to safeguard this land, which they claim belongs to the majority community. Such political slogans are open to debate. Be that as it may, these community proud political entities are not united to uphold and protect the rights of the majority community they claim to represent. The recent cracks in the SLFP and the JVP almost on the eve of more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

260 MPs ? Reform process should be democratic first

Apr 20 (CT) There are close door deliberations among leading politicians of many hues (hardly any shades of political differences in them now), none of whom can be taken as serious and honest wo/men to decide how our Constitutional and Electoral reforms should take shape. The very arguments/reasons attached to their decisions to either postpone or fast forward the process prove how selfish they are in sticking to power. These wo/men have proposed to increase more..

Bribery Commission chairman reach agreement with speaker on summons to MR

Apr 20 (AM) Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption Chairman Jagath Balapatabendi called on Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa this evening and held a discussion on the controversy regarding the summoning of former president Rajapaksa to the commission. Chairman and the Speaker agreed that the Bribery Commission officials should visit former president Rajapaksa and record a statement, rather than summoning him to premises of commission. more..

Basil Rajapaksa to attend parliamentary session tuesday

Apr 20 (AM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa stated that he will return to Sri Lanka on Tuesday and is planning to attend the parliament session on the same day. Rajapaksa said that he took political decisions and did not engage in financial fraud. Therefore, he insisted that he does not have any problem in returning to the island. Basil Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka soon after the defeat of his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa at presidential more..

Mahinda had 8 Yogas while Maithri had 12

Apr 20 (CT) "Sinhala Tamil New Year in 2014, dawned at the auspicious time devoted to God Katharagama. It was at the height of this auspicious moment that I decided the revealing of the statue of God Katharagama should be done. My father came to me in my dreams and informed me that by the time the day comes close, something extraordinary would happen. By that day, the Kirivehera of Katharagama started to emit of drops of milk. The closer we got to the auspicious time of more..